NY Times on Gaming
9:07 AM | Tom Bridge | Comment on this story
The New York Times has published an article this morning concerning the ever-growing trend in gaming toward Hollywood-style cutscene movies, and the increase in pay for their lead programmers and staffs. The speculation about a convergence between video games and actual Hollywood movies has been a favorite topic of media pundits for some time, but the NYT took this opportunity to actually critique the possibility that visuals are becoming more important than gameplay:
Instead of stilted backgrounds, limited mobility and cartoonish characters that typified many computer games on the market just a couple of years ago, a whole new class of games is displaying increasingly movielike design, tone and texture. They are taking advantage of more muscular game hardware like high-performance microprocessors and greatly improved graphics capabilities. When one recent game begins with a cutscene that lasts, according to the Times, 9 full minutes, where are games headed? Will they end up in the same category as cinema, defined as an art form and worthy of highest praise? Or will they end up like blockbuster movies, with huge budgets, name brand stars and lines around the block to purchase their license -- but leave players with an empty feeling? Discuss this issue on our forums.
NY Times on Gaming (registration required)
None of this, however, guarantees a good game. Too many extraordinarily cinematic moments can seriously stall game play and make the overall experience of playing them more passive than interactive. Some of these powerfully cinematic games are raising a question about video games in general: should they be more fun to watch than to play?
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